Saturday night isn't complete without a little geek folk music. What's geek folk you ask? Well, it is a term I came up with the other day to explain Jonathan Coulton to Marisa. I think it is quite apt, and so would you if you have ever heard his music (and shame on you for not knowing who he is).
Anyway, Jonathan Coulton was opening for some other folky kinda dude over at MilkBoy Coffee of Ardmore. I convinced Marisa to sally forth with me (I just said, 'hey, you like folk music. Wanna see this concert?' and she was all like, 'Sure.'). Off we went to MilKBoy Coffee of Ardmore, little did we know that serendipity was on our side.
Normally I purchase tickets for any kind of show well in advance, however, I figured how likely was it that a concert in a coffeehouse (in Ardmore) would sell out? Turns out it is exceedingly likely since that is exactly what happened.
So, I hear you asking, how the heck did we get into the show?
It would just so happen that moments before a lovely lady, accompanied by her sister, entered MilkBoy Coffee of Ardmore. She was in a bit of a state because her two other companions, who were supposed to be at the show, were unable to make it. She asked the kind girl at the door if she would mind letting the next two people who came to the door without tickets in for free. She was worried that the MilkBoy Coffee of Ardmore staffer would balk at such a request, but she shouldn't have worried. The girl at the door said that wouldn't be a problem. Elated the woman, and her sister, go to their seats and thought nothing of what they had just done.
I'm sure, by now, that you can guess who the next two ticketless people at the door were. That's right, it was Marisa and myself. Not only did we get into the very sold out show, we got in for free. You can't beat that.
The woman at the door kindly pointed out our mysterious benefactors and I purchased their coffee and pastries for them as a sign of our thanks.
Getting in for free is always a great way to start any show. As we were walking to find some seats who did we spy but none-other than Sarcasmo (who, as a big fan of zombies, I wasn't surprised to see). We didn't get a chance to chat, but we waved and acknowledged each other's presence, as you do. Anywho, read her recounting of the story here, and note, as I did, that there is nary a mention of Blankbaby in the whole thing.
Soon the lights dimmed and the man, the myth, the minstrel that is Jonathan Coultan took the stage like the giant of geek folk that he is. He started off with his rendition of Baby Got Back, which is a classic. It was also quite amusing to watch the audience slowly realize what he was singing and start to laugh. Ahh, good stuff, folks.
He also played (not in the order that they were played, and perhaps not all that he played. I am relying on my memory):
- Millionaire Girlfriend: A touching song about finding what every man wants, a millionaire women who is willing to give you power of attorney
- Kenesaw Mountain Landis: A song which I have enjoyed for many months, but I never knew what the hell it was about. Jonathan explained that it is about the Black Sox scandal and then it all make sense to me (well, as much sense as it could).
- Skullcrusher Mountain: Evil geniuses need love too.
- Code Monkey: His underground hit about coders.
- Re Your Brains: A zombie tries to negotiate (and my personal favorite song of his).
I think that was all he played, but he was highly entertaining.
Now, a note about Re Your Brains. Sometimes, when I find a song I am particularly fond of I listen to it over and over and over again. Endlessly. Nonstop. For days on end. Re Your Brains was one such song (another example would be 'A View to a Kill' by Duran Druan). When I wasn't listening to it, I heard it echoing in the chambers of my mind. My thoughts were filled with the constant baying of zombies pleading for brains. I even made Glenn listen to it when I visited him. He was not impressed. No accounting for taste, I suppose.
Overall, Mr. Coultan was fantastic. I had thought that he might be a touch too geeky for Marisa, but she enjoyed him as well so that was good.
Next up was Jim Boggia, the headliner. I had never heard any of his music but was informed that he was a more serious folker, so I knew what I was getting into. He is obviously a very talented fellow, but he rubbed me the wrong way (in the metaphorical sense, there was no actual rubbing going on. Well, none that involved me anyway).
He got up and started strumming his guitar, sang a song, and then asked that the lights be turned down. Not a big deal. Another song and his guitar strap broke, so he needed a chair or stool (he got both). Also, not annoying. The third song and he asked that the AC be turned off. Now, that's where I draw the line. Sure, it wasn't hot out in Ardmore last night, but if you are in a room with a couple hundred other people with windows that don't open AC is needed (especially if you happen to be a large man who runs a little hot). Without the AC, which was either turned off or lowered significantly, the place started to heat up. It wasn't unbearable but it wasn't as nice as it once was during those halcyon times when Jonathan Coulton was playing.
The final thing that irked me a little was that Mr Boggia eschewed a set list for the ever popular, 'Ask the audience what they want to hear.' While this sounds great in theory ('Holy crap, the dude I came to see has suddenly turned into a jukebox that might play a song I yell out') it is just annoying, and not only to people who don't know any of your songs. Your loyal fans, no doubt, have their favorite songs and there is no way that you will manage to sing them all, so why give them a glimmer of hope by suggesting that they yell out what they want to hear? Seems kind of cruel to me.
Anyway, Jim Boggia is talented but not for me. Hey, it happens to the best of us (and it happens to me all the time, though I am not talented so it particularly stings).